'Guys' trip' raises questions about Obama's 2016 choice...again
April 17th, 2014
10:57 AM ET
8 months ago

'Guys' trip' raises questions about Obama's 2016 choice...again

(CNN) - The selfie. The “guys’ trip.” An endorsement?

Not quite.

President Barack Obama, who has never been less than glowing in public praise of his vice president, said in an interview aired Thursday that Joe Biden “will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history” and has been “a great partner in everything that I do.”

But Obama stopped short – as he’ll likely do until a Democratic nominee emerges in 2016 – from saying he’d support Biden if he makes a third run for the White House.

“I suspect that there may be other potential candidates for 2016 who have been great friends and allies,” he told CBS News. “I know that we've got an extraordinary secretary of state who did great service for us and worked with me and Joe to help make the country safer.”

That “extraordinary” diplomat would be Hillary Clinton, the understood Democratic frontrunner whose every utterance is parsed for signs she’s closer to jumping back into the political fray.

As it happens, the last time Obama sat down with CBS for a joint interview was with Clinton as she prepared to step down as secretary of state shortly after the start of his second term. And just as he did Thursday, Obama heaped praise on the former rival.

“I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had,” he said – but again stopped short of offering his 2016 endorsement.

“I was literally inaugurated four days ago,” he said then. “And you're talking about elections four years from now.”

Biden, who has said he’s considering making another go at the top job, similarly demurred about 2016 while the 2014 midterms are approaching. But he made clear on Wednesday that his boss wouldn’t be left in the dark when the decision is made.

“If I decide to run, believe me, this'll be the first guy I talk to,” he said of Obama. “But that decision hasn't been made for real, and there's plenty of time to make them. We have a lot of work to do between now and November.”

If Biden hopes Obama can help him in 2016, Obama seems confident his vice president can help a little sooner, with midterm elections looming and Democrats anxious about the president’s signature health care reform law.

The White House had Biden on full display Wednesday, sending the vice president to Pennsylvania - his home state - to help Obama announce $600 million in new job training grants. As the so-called “guys’ trip” kicked off, his office was clicking publish on Biden’s first Instagram picture: a shot of the vice president’s trademark Ray-Ban aviators.

Later the account popped out a shot of Obama and Biden posing together in the back of a presidential limo, the pair’s toothy grins captioned by the White House with just the word “Pals.”

Obama has long depended on Biden to fire up traditional Democratic voting blocs like unions and blue-collar workers, using the vice president’s folksy style to supplement his own liberal loftiness.

That effort appears to still be in full swing as November’s midterm elections approach. Democrats, who have all but given up taking control of the House of Representatives, are now focused on retaining control of the Senate, where many vulnerable incumbents are looking warily at the prospect of campaigning with Obama.

Biden’s ratings among the public are close to Obama’s – both men stood at 49% unfavorable in a CNN/ORC poll from early March. But Democrats seem convinced the vice president can do more good than harm in the coming contests.

The Democratic National Committee revived Biden’s old twitter handle, @JoeBiden, earlier in April, hoping to amplify the party’s message to his 600,000 followers.

“Dusting off the Twitter handle for a big midterm election year. Let's get to it, folks,” he wrote in the first message on the account in a year.


Filed under: Joe Biden • President Obama
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "with Putin taking over countries? "

    Yeah...and he's obviously planning on taking back Alaska next, right? Consult your tinfoil hat signals and let me know.

    April 17, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Sniffit
    "There is a difference between "hate" and "frustration" and "anger". Hate is a term that is used mostly by children."
    Lame pouting is for children. Calling hate behavior "hate" when we see it is adults accepting reality for what it is...often ugly, irrational and entirely misinformed.
    --

    And yet you refuse to acknowledge and condemn all of the hate filled attacks from the party, people and causes you support. Wonder why?

    April 17, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. What?

    No nuke war with Iran, or Russia, no Vice President making Billions off of wars started with false facts. could be worse!

    April 17, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. tom l

    But Sniffit you have no idea what it is. It is what you THINK it is. You have no idea unless you actually speak with a person to know if it's hate. Unless you're a race baiter, such as yourself, then you see everything through your prism. Countless times you mention that someone's post is derived from not being able to handle the fact that we have an African American as president yet you have no idea. You are making the assumption with zero facts other than some words written on the bottom of CNN Ticker. Yet you're going to say you know for sure that their comment comes from racism?? You made that claim about me on several occasions a long time ago and then came to realize that none of my comments come from hate or not being able to handle that Obama happens to have a different skin pigmentation than me. They simply come from disagreeing with his policies. You have no idea. You only think you know. It's really sad how much YOU hate so many of your fellow Americans simply based on YOUR assumptions and YOUR perception but nothing from actual reality or fact. So, yes indeed, "hate" is a term used by children.

    April 17, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @Donna
    Well if Obama is the greatest President ever, ...... the entire world on fire with Putin taking over countries?
    ------------
    I don't know about the greatest, but it sure was better than when Bush was taking over other countries based on lies and stupidity.

    April 17, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Gregg

    Objectively, Hillary accomplished nothing as S of S, except normalize relations with Myanmar.

    April 17, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    'Guys' trip'... Raises questions !!!

    OMG...
    OBAMA is waging a WAR on women !!!
    LOL !!!

    April 17, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    After watching republicans make the deadbeat welfare anti government rancher in Nevada a hero, they have shown again that are the something for nothing crowd. They are opposed to paying for their own health care, opposed to paying for their own wars, they want even more tax cuts for the rich, they have shut down the government, made
    Putin a republican hero, elevated Russian sympathizer, Snowden, to hero status for turning secrets over to Russia. How could anyone support the party of domestic terrorists?

    April 17, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    tom l

    There is a difference between "hate" and "frustration" and "anger". Hate is a term that is used mostly by children.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Guess that explains why the reds toss it about so freely when whining about their feelings for President Obama.

    April 17, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Chuck

    Obama probably wants Biden to run, so his Progressive Dictatorship lives on,
    Hillary is more middle of the road, and what we need

    April 17, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. 2_indy1600

    Hillary's accomplishments? Shoe-ducker, bombs on tarmac ducker, fired from first job ducker, reset with russia ducker, drunk-texter, politics of personal destruction extraordinaire, punisher of Bill's groupees, we can go on, if you like.

    April 17, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. al

    Who cares!!!!!!

    April 17, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Pick from the Democrat Losers & Rejects

    Get Real
    If BIDEN was GOOD enough to be HIS 2-term VP, SHOULDN'T the choice be OBVIOUS???? Makes no sense he spent 2008 blasting Hillary, and now everything is good? If he endorses her, I will not vote ANY of the Ds
    --

    Joe Biden has already run for President TWICE. He got very little support and dropped out early.

    Hillary Clinton was rejected byt the far left Democrat Party as being too conservative for their tastes.

    That is the Democrat field for 2016. Three time losers and rejects. Both dinosaurs in their 70's. One is senile and the other a proven incompetent. Some choice.

    April 17, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Anonymous

    And yet you refuse to acknowledge and condemn all of the hate filled attacks from the party, people and causes you support. Wonder why?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Care to provide some CREDIBLE examples? And I'm not referring to nameless individuals posting on message threads – I'm talking TV/Radio personalities and elected Democratic officials and their deep-pocketed doners. Names and examples, babe.

    April 17, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "And yet you refuse to acknowledge and condemn all of the hate filled attacks from the party, people and causes you support. Wonder why?

    You're just plain wrong...I do criticize it when Dems/liberals behave in a hateful or ridiculous way, because I doesn't help the causes I support. CNN provides no way to maintain a comment history or else I'd prove it. If you're going to claim that it's hateful for Dems/liberals to point out and criticize all the GOP/Teatroll racism, voter suppression, ideological crazy talk, substanceless talking points and baseless accusations, bigotry towards the LGBT community, attempts to control women's reproductive decisions, policies that redistribute wealth to the already insanely wealthy, idiocy about communists this and socialists that, birth certificate nonsense, lies about the ACA and their concerted efforts to break it, etc., then think again. Liberals are not the ones who've been throwing an insane, sociopathic, obstructionist and completely inconsolable temper tantrum for the past 6 years. Our criticism of you doing so is not "hate."

    April 17, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. rs

    tom l

    There is a difference between "hate" and "frustration" and "anger". Hate is a term that is used mostly by children.
    _________________
    An apt description of a party that votes symbolically 54 times to rescind the ability of average Americans to access health care.

    April 17, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. m123

    Biden and Obama together, what is this, a losers convention?

    April 17, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    Tampa Tim

    After watching republicans make the deadbeat welfare anti government rancher in Nevada a hero, they have shown again that are the something for nothing crowd. They are opposed to paying for their own health care, opposed to paying for their own wars, they want even more tax cuts for the rich, they have shut down the government, made
    Putin a republican hero, elevated Russian sympathizer, Snowden, to hero status for turning secrets over to Russia. How could anyone support the party of domestic terrorists?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    They proven that they idoloze ugly cowards who use women and children as human shields while attempting to incite armed conflict with the government. IMO, the BLM should sell that public land in NE to a private individual who would charge the welfare queen rancher twenty to thirty times as much to graze his cattle.

    April 17, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake Up! and Lynda:
    Good posts!

    April 17, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. TONE

    @Lynda/Minnesota – "...Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such gnashing of GOPerville teeth."

    I feel so sorry for many of them because they have no teeth i guess their gums shall feel it. Poor children they can atleast ask their Gop Rep for a dental plan but that will fall on deaf ears how sad.

    April 17, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    Tampa Tim

    Putin a republican hero, elevated Russian sympathizer, Snowden, to hero status for turning secrets over to Russia. How could anyone support the party of domestic terrorists?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    LOL – Does anyone HONESTLY believe snowey is enjoying his "freedom" in Russia? Yeah, he's "free" to do whatever the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue's "soul mate" tells him he can do. If it's so great there why was he attempting to seek political asylum in Ecuador a few months ago?

    April 17, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. DRJJJ

    He's a good yes man, but we need honesty and integrity now.

    April 17, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Countless times you mention that someone's post is derived from not being able to handle the fact that we have an African American as president yet you have no idea"

    Except I do. It's abundantly clear and there is more than sufficient objective evidence to determine that the entire GOP throwing a 6+ year long, unprecedented hissy fit instantaneously upon the election of a black man as POTUS is extremely related to race. This game the GOP/Teatrolls like to play of "I'm not racist" while they ALL support voter suppression efforts directed at minorities, espouse the GOP/Teatroll rhetoric and code-speak about Hispanics and Mexicans and "thugs" and "inner city culture problems" etc....the whole 9 yards of it...is proof enough. Call it "race baiting" all you want and vomit all the Bill O'Reilly "grievance industry" idiocy you want at me, but you do NOT have to be a dyed-in-the-wool klan meeting attendee racist to qualify as being a racist. You also qualify if you're completely and utterly oblivious and lack the self-awareness to understand that everything you're doing and saying and feeling is indeed, at least partly, steeped in serious underlying issues with race and fundamentally racist beliefs like "this was supposed to be a white people country" or "they're genetically dumber" or "they're invading (and trying to conquer the south and turn it into Azatlan)" or "where's the birth certificate" or "he's secretly a muslim" etc. In fact, you don't even have to espouse those beliefs, just be an enabler of them, and that's sufficient for the label. Live with it. Any GOPer/Teatroll who still supports policies that have blatant racist intent and measurable disparate impacts who doesn't want to be called a racist should stop supporting those policies, should stop saying those things, should stop staying silent when others say those things, should stop trying to fight back with "no YOU'RE the real racist for pointing out our racism". Hiding behind "but those are conservative policies, not racist policies" doesn't cut it. There are other ways to be conservative. It's that simple. Enablers are just as, if not more, culpable for it continuing to exist....and that includes the MSM.

    April 17, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. California Bob

    I think both Biden and Hillary have passed their rendezvous with the presidency. They are a past generation that I think the electorate wants to move beyond. Time to get on with new perspectives (if that's possible with the U.S. presidency). Democrats feel burned by Obama's rightward turn (as if he had a choice). Republicans are tearing each other apart- and I can only hope they succeed at doing so. Talk about a dead horse! So let's look to new faces. We know truth gets trampled so at least we can move on with the new genertion, and hopefully a bit more practical governing.

    April 17, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. tom l

    DMFO!
    Long time no talk. I hope you have been well. :)

    I hope you saw my second post which shows why I felt the need to post that. I was told that all of my criticisms of President Obama were due to my hatred and not being able to handle a president with a different skin pigmentation than me on several occasions. I know you don't believe that about me as you have come to learn that, while you may disagree with me, at least it's not borne from hatred. I'm just saying that IMHO that majority of posters on here that are critical of our Prez comes from anger and frustration with his policies and have nothing to do with his skin color. It just is time for us to accept that someone with a different opinion is not a bad person (most times) but just has a different viewpoint. Do you realize that the politicians just love the fighting that is going on between us? They revel in it. It gives them more power.

    April 17, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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